Finally we've had some rain. 11mm overnight was a decent drop but unfortunately it looks like being the only rain we'll get between now and the month end. So far in May we've had 15mm of rain, if it stays that way it will be the driest May since regular records began in 2005 (on the back of the second driest April). Today's gale force south westerlies, the remnants of tropical storm Arthur from the other side of the Atlantic were a shock to the system after weeks of settled weather. The sun still shone though so coupled with the hair dryer like wind any positive effect last nights rain might have had on the vegetation quickly evaporated.

The harbour was looking rough at high tide this evening

A rough Ramsey Sound while the ever hardy thrift clings on

The reef that extends from Ramsey harbour is known as The Bitches and the wind speed and direction today, coupled with a big spring tide on the new moon created some rough conditions

I carried out the weekly Manx shearwater nest box check today. I check the boxes for incubating adults and once a bird is confirmed as incubating it is left alone until nearer hatching when I'll have another peek to check all is going as planned. This time last week there were 4 birds on eggs, today there are 8 plus another 2 new eggs with no bird in attendance. Although it is always better to see an egg being incubated this is not the end of the world. The female lays the egg (I clearly paid attention in biology!) but leaves the first incubation stint to the male. If he does not appear on the night the egg is laid she will usually sit on it until he shows up, but not always, especially with younger, less experienced birds. The eggs are more than capable of taking a bit of chilling, I have seen an egg left for 7 days and still hatch, so fingers crossed these are just 'admin errors' on the part of the birds.

As I mentioned the other day our short-eared owls are now feeding young and they are continuing to see off any would be predator that gets too close to the area of heathland where they are housing the chicks. We have taken to avoiding walking the trail in that area as much as possible for now but even at a good distance away they come over and 'bark' at us!

Short-eared owl on Ramsey

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